Augmenting the Mobile Shopping Experience

by Net Future Institute on February 12, 2013

The verdict is still out in terms of what kinds of interactions mobile shoppers will ultimately experience in stores, but new ideas keep coming.

For example, QR codes can be used to quickly link videos and contests to consumers as well as trigger SMS messages and launch in-store interactivity.

Besides codes and text messages, I have to wonder what role augmented reality (AR) might eventually play.

We’ll be exploring this aspect later this week at MediaPost’s Mobile Insider summit in Florida in a panel on the age of augmented retailing I’ll be moderating.

Speaking with the panelists in advance shows there’s a very wide range of approaches and success metrics associated with enhancing the in-store experience.

Just as many decision-makers fell in love with using QR codes, it looks like AR is being tapped to entertain or least intrigue the mobilized shopper.

All shoppers obviously don’t scan codes of any type while shopping and some likely never will. The same will undoubtedly be true with augmented reality, with some experiencing it and others not.

Much of the current AR activity is being introduced to consumers through print publications with various pages being AR enabled, allowing readers to receive more information instantly or to quickly purchase.

Enhancing the shopping experience via mobile can entail many different forms, including text messaging, MMS, location-based advertising, on-the-spot deals, purchase rewards and even augmented reality.

Of course, effective in-store Wi-Fi, which some retailers are finally embracing, is needed along with a strong consumer value proposition and sensible ROI metrics for the retailer.

How, if at all, do you see AR being deployed at retail?

 Chuck Martin is editor of mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk. He is author of “The Third Screen,” “The Smartphone Handbook,” and the soon-to-be-published “Mobile Influence.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute and a frequent mobile keynote speaker around the globe.

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